Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion Blanc 2000
The unctuousness, the suavity and the apparent softness of the Sémillon are associated with the fruity freshness of the ripe Sauvignon.
First there is a scent of freshness dominated by aniseed and basswood. Then comes a whiff of little diluted verbena dissolving behind a soft trace of honeycomb. The finish is very complex: it mixes all those fragrances together, and then veils them with a touch of incense.
Next comes the palate where the tartness of the fruit is mitigated by the sweetness of the composition. Little by little one can taste the musk, that unctuous Muscat of the ripe Sauvignon.
One also finds the flavor of finely roasted, honey-coated almonds suggesting delicious praline. With age all these impressions combine and relate to those evoked by the aromas of a liquorous wine.
Thus Château Haut-Brion Blanc achieves the dream of the Larrieus: the aromatic fullness of a sauternes present in a dry white wine...
A team of enthusiastic professionals has done a wonderful job of giving Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion back its superb reputation, and the estate is once again universally recognised as one of the finest wines in the Pessac-Léognan appellation.
Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.
Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.
Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.
The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.
Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.
Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux White Blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added intrigue. Popularized in Bordeaux, the blend is often mimicked throughout the New World. Somm Secret—Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but they can be served before, during or after a meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage.